none
A "Windows Complete PC Restore" always fails.

    Question

  • ---> Problem:

    A "Windows Complete PC Restore" fails on the following error message:

         The Windows Complete PC Restore operation failed.
         Error details: (0x80042401)

    ---> Background:

    1. I backed up my Vista installation via the Vista "Complete PC Backup" option to a 150GB NTFS partition on a 300GB external USB Drive.
    2. Vista was installed on a 60GB hard disk as an upgrade to XP Pro SP2. The hard disk has only one partition.
    3. Vista is drive C:\ in the partition. There are no other drive letters or partitions on the hard disk.
    4. I removed the VISTA hard drive from the computer.
    5. I put a 250GB NTFS hard drive in the computer. I wanted to restore the backup to this empty drive.

     

    1. I booted the Vista RC1 DVD from an external USB DVD drive by using the F8 key during BIOS load (for BIOS boot device selection menu).
    2. I launched the "Repair Your Computer" option.
    3. The first "System Recovery Options" screen was blank (showed no operating systems) as expected.
    4. I pressed "Next".
    5. I launched "Windows Complete PC Restore".
    6. It found my VISTA backup on "NTFS External (F:)" as expected.
    7. I pressed "Next".
    8. It reconfirmed the VISTA backup on "NTFS External (F:)" as expected.
    9. I pressed "Finish".
    10. I pressed "Ok" on the confirmation dialog.
    11. The "Windows is restoring your backup" dialog displayed for a few seconds.
    12. The error dialog displayed: 

    The Windows Complete PC Restore operation failed.
     Error details: (0x80042401)

    1.  I opened the command window and ran "x:\sources\recovery\recenv" to try it again.
    2. I did a "Startup Repair" via "x:\sources\recovery\recenv" and it found the C:\ drive and behaved as expected.
    3. I rebooted.
    4. I launched "Windows Complete PC Restore" again.
    5. The "Windows Complete PC Restore" correctly identified the restore destination as "C:\".
    6. It failed on the same error.
    7. I tried numerous other ineffective solutions, which I won't bore you with.

    ---> Request:

       How do you restore a backup image created with Vista RC1 to a new hard disk?

    I put this question in "Windows Vista Beta Setup" because I don't usually install operating systems I can't backup.

    Monday, September 18, 2006 2:23 AM

All replies

  • Any solution to this problem?

    My Hard Drive is failing.  I created the back but get the same result when trying to restore.......

    Friday, October 20, 2006 7:45 PM
  • I have this problem exactly when I try the command line version:

    wbadmin START SYSRECOVERY -backupTarget:D: -version:12/07/2006-13:26

    That returns a "ERROR - Volume Shadow Copy operation failed with error 0x80042401. For more information, see the event log."

    When I try the GUI completepc restore, I get an error about the "disk being too small".  Or maybe "there aren't enough of them"?  The new disk I am restoring to is actually larger than the disk I backed up from, so this is impossible.  Also, going into "diskpart" and typing "list drives" and "list volumes" shows that everything was detected and loaded correctly.

    When I try:
    wbadmin start recovery -backupTarget:D: -version 12/07/2006-13:26 -recoveryTarget:C: -itemType:File -items:c:\ -recursive

    I get a "Do you want to proceed?" and then I get a "Could not create handle to the driver control device.  Check whether the driver is installed correctly."

    These are just three examples, but I have tried so many blasted combinations to get this stupid image to restore, and nothing seems to work except the *exact* same configuration that I used to back it up with.
    Sunday, December 10, 2006 3:36 PM
  • *bump*? I'm having the same problem. Did anyone ever solve this?
    Sunday, January 21, 2007 11:53 PM
  • Is there any resolution for this? I am having the same problem as well.
    Saturday, February 24, 2007 8:27 AM
  • Sorry, don't have a solution for the error but here's what my testing has revealed:

    http://professionalinsight.net/vista.aspx

    Al Degutis

    Friday, March 16, 2007 3:39 AM
  • I, too, am experiencing Hell on Microsoft’s version of Earth.  What a dismal failure Complete Backup/Restore is proving to be.  Instead of preventing catastrophic loss, Microsoft appears to be facilitating it.

     

    Everything started out alright (well, alright considering that I was having to undo an XP to Vista upgrade.) 

     

    I was able to successfully back up my instance of Vista Business from a Seagate Momentus 7200.1 100GB Ultra ATA drive to an external (USB) Hitachi Travelstar (HTS541040G9AT00) 40GB Ultra ATA drive.  It worked fine, creating a 23GB file – no errors, no warnings, it just worked. 

     

    Then I tried to restore the backup file to a Toshiba (MK3018GAS) 30GB Ultra ATA drive in another computer (Microsoft, you said we could install onto the same drive or another computer, right?).  Nope!   Guess what message I see? 

     

    Windows Complete PC Restore operation failed.  Error details: There are too few disks on this computer or one or more of the disks is too small. Add or change disks so they match the disks in the backup and try the restore again. (0x80042401)

     

    So I say to myself “Too few drives?  How many does it take?  OK, I’ll play along.”  I go to the local CompUSA and buy the smallest available Ultra ATA drive they have – it’s a Seagate Momentus (ST960812A-RK) 60GB Ultra ATA drive.  They had a larger one for a few dollars more, but I figured that getting the most comparable size and speed would be a good idea.  Even though it is a little larger, it is the same brand (and almost the same age) and I figure even if I have to partition it to match the source drive, it should work. 

     

    1. First I try it with the default full partition (57.xGB). Well, it didn’t work. 
    2. Next I try creating a smaller partition – 40GB.  Nope.  That didn’t work. 
    3. Finally, I break out my desktop calculator and start dividing the total number of available megabytes on the new drive by 1024 until I match the size of the partition on the source drive (37.3GB) and partition the new drive to match that.  That didn’t work either. 

     I got the same error message every time: 

     

    Windows Complete PC Restore operation failed.  Error details: There are too few disks on this computer or one or more of the disks is too small. Add or change disks so they match the disks in the backup and try the restore again. (0x80042401)

     

    Now I consider myself to be fairly computer savvy and I am failing miserably with this “core functionality” that Vista promotes.  How is the average consumer going to deal with this?  Call the Geek Squad?  How much more is that going to cost them?  I am already into this upgrade for the price of the upgrade software ($285), the price of the DVD decoder software that Microsoft doesn’t provide with Vista Business for watching DVD’s on your laptop ($20), the price of a external hard drive ($129), the effort to remove a hard drive from another laptop, the price of a new larger hard drive for said laptop ($85) and countless hours trying to get this product to do what it is supposed to do! 

     

    Not upgrading to Vista?  Priceless…

     

    So my question is this:  How does one restore the backup they created using Vista Complete PC Backup?  I can’t find a solution anywhere, and I see that this error has been around on TechNet since September 18, 2006 (http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=735632&SiteID=17) with no reply from Microsoft, despite numerous subsequent postings from other customers (yes, Microsoft, we are CUSTOMERS) experiencing the same problems in March 2007 as were described in the original post dated September 2006 – more than six months later.

    Thursday, March 29, 2007 8:02 AM
  • I've been contacted by Microsoft's Complete PC Backup team and we are looking at the problem. They provided a workaround which I tested in my Virtual PC environment and it worked. I still need to try it with my physical hardware.

    More details hopefully soon here:
    http://professionalinsight.net/vista.aspx

    Also, the best way to contact me directly is via the contact form on my site.

    Al Degutis
    Thursday, March 29, 2007 1:24 PM
  • I also had the same problem a few days ago. It took me almost one day of research and trial-and-error to go around the

    There are too few disks on this computer or one or more of the disks is too small...

    error screen. Here's how I did it:

    1. Choose Command Prompt in the Windows Recovery Environment menu

    2. Run diskpart, the disk utility. The goal is to create disk partitions/volumes structure that resemble the backup image.

    While I was inside DiskPart environment, I used the following commands:

    a) list disk to see the list of hard drives recognized by Windows

    b) The drive I wanted to recover was identified as Drive 0 (zero) so I used the command select disk=0 to make the drive active.

    c) Then I used the command create partition primary size=40960 to create a 40GB partition on that drive.

    d) I used list partition to see the list of partitions on that drive

    e) The partition I just created was identified as Partition 0 (zero) so I used the command select partition=0 to make the partition active.

    f) I used the command format fs=ntfs label="System Drive" quick to format the partition, then I used list volume to see the list of volumes recognized by the system.

    g) The volume I just created was identified as Volume 1 so I used the command select volume=1 to make the volume active. Then I used the command assign letter=C to assign the C drive letter, which corresponds to the one in the backup image.

    f) I then use exit to quit DiskPart and another exit to quit the Command Prompt.


    3. Complete PC Restore now
    worked.

    Hope this helps.

    By the way, my original problem was trying to restore a two-dynamic disks with simple and striped volumes setup. I could restore the data on all volumes but the "simple" system volume was never recognized during the boot process, eventhough I used the DiskPart retain command to make the "simple" volume a system/boot volume, as suggested by Microsoft Knowledge base entry:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/283421

    ---
    Thiti
    Friday, March 30, 2007 1:46 AM
  • I'm really sick of seeing this post with the links to that useless professionalinsight page.  First of all, this does NOT work, simply partitioning and formating the drive is obvious and doesn't help so don't waste your time.  Second of all, whoever this guy is is obviously full of *** because the first partition created on any drive is partition 1, there is never a partition 0. Also you really shouldn't need to do any of that, formatting and partitioning is a staple of OS installation and should  be handled automatically.
    Wednesday, May 09, 2007 12:02 PM
  • Dear bUSERvt,

     

    You obviously missed the point of the discussion thread...  and you also missed the part about it having nothing to do with the PC but only to do with the incomplete / inaccurate directions provided by Microsoft regarding their Windows Complete Restore.  If you don't like reading about this issue, then skip it.  A number of people have experienced this problem - following the instructions provided by Microsoft (which turned out to be incomplete).  I don't see how your disparaging remarks are conducive to this discussion and I am reporting your behavior as abusive - perhaps you won't be allowed back on, which would solve your problem with this and other threads.

    Thursday, May 10, 2007 2:43 AM
  • I installed Vista on a 60gig Maxtor PATA drive originally.  Then I backed the system up to Drive D (a PATA drive) and restore to an 80gig Barracuda SATA drive I just got.  Bet you know why I'm here.  When I started the restore process and saw that the backup drive letter to be C and the restore drive to also be C, I stopped there because I saw catastrophe ahead.  Thanks to that simple diskpart procedure that was posted above, I successfully restored Vista to the new drive.  However, I didn't follow that procedure to the letter.  Diskpart showed that the drive containing my backup was drive C.  OK, whatever.  I selected my new drive and instead of formatting for 40gigs, I let diskpart do the whole drive by its default.  Wonderful.  When I created the NTFS volume on the new partition, diskpart automatically made it Drive C.  How odd.  Interestingly enough, the drive containing the backup suddently became drive D.  Okee Doakee.  So I didn't bother with the letter assignments.  I immediately exited diskpart and continued the restore process which restored the 30gig backup in about 10 minutes.  The computer rebooted automatically while I was snoozing and when it came up, drive C had 60G available just as it did with the old drive.  I let Vista finish installing drivers for the SATA controller then I rebooted it again.  Then I went to the disk manager in Vista and had it extend its volume to the end of the drive and it did so within a couple of seconds.  A success story with the GUI disk manager.  After going through this experience, it seems that Vista's backup/restore relies on drive letters and it wants the system drive to be a big fat C.  This procedure satisfied that requirement.  If you can get the target drive to be the C drive, it will likely work.

    Tuesday, May 22, 2007 5:48 AM
  •  

    Just in case anyone else should venture here looking to solve this issue, I too just ran into the dreaded Disk configuration error while trying to restore a Complete PC Backup on Vista. For my case, it was actually solved by starting the Repair PC process from CD, then when finally getting into the recovery options screen, going to the command prompt, running diskpart clean to wipe the drive and then going back and selecting the Backup I wanted to restore. it seems, at least in my case, that you don't need to create any partitions what so ever. this is actually a good thing. The restore is currently running and hopefully all will be well when it finishes.
    Saturday, December 15, 2007 4:29 PM
  • I'm glad I found this thread, as I was ready to give up and reload from scratch figuring I boffed up the backup somehow.  I think the attempt to make the restore procedure idiot proof doomed this "Complete PC Restore" option to uselessness for anyone other than those that like to backup/restore to the same drive for kicks.  People who experience a genuine drive failure are SOL using the sunshine happy interface provided. 

     

    Hopefully everyone else with a failed drive will find this thread, and can use the following command line I pieced together:

     

    wbadmin start recovery -version:12/23/2007-05:59 -itemtype:volume -items:c: -backuptarget:h: -recoverytarget:c:

     

    replacing H and C with whatever your backup and restore drives are.  You can find your VERSION by browsing through your backup drive and eventually you'll find a directory named like the version you need above.  Before you run this from the recovery console, you have to setup your new drive appropriately in the DISKPART utility.

     

    Run a LIST VOLUME to see all your drives, then SELECT VOLUME to choose your new drive.  Use CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY to create the drive you want to restore your backup to and then FORMAT QUICK to format it.  ASSIGN LETTER=C will make the new partition your C drive (most likely what you backed up from) and now you can run the line above, assuming your backup is the H drive (you can use the ASSIGN LETTER=X line to make your backup drive whatever you need.  Originally my C drive was my backup drive which didn't work well for a restore).

     

    After doing this crazy workaround, I'm left wondering why a simple dropdown wasn't included to choose what drive you want to restore your backup to.  I'd be interested in why this was omitted from the user interface.

     

    I also had to run a "Repair Windows" after restoring to most likely restore the boot block to my new drive.  This worked like a charm for me, hope it helps someone else.

    Sunday, December 23, 2007 7:17 PM
  • A Solution!

     

    I too had this problem and found out this precious piece of gold....

     

    Every time you do a back up it must be done on a freshly at least quick formatted USB Drive. This eliminates the back up from becoming too big

     

    You should then have no problems with the error message.

     

    Then:

     

    To do the back up. Back up stays in the USB holder all the time

     

    ·         Install windows on the new hard drive with the installation disk

    ·         Once installed restart windows with installation disk in DVD drive and press 'any key' to boot from DVD Drive when it gives you the opportunity (make sure USB Drive is plugged in and turned on)

    ·         Click next at first screen

    ·         Click repair your computer

    ·         Choose 'Microsoft Windows Vista' option (not the recovered one)

    ·         Click windows complete PC Restore

     

    Hope this is helpful 
    Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:13 AM
  • It is isad to note that so many people have this problem, but there is not a single MSFT staff in this thread to support. We are glad they are working with someone like Al Degutis, but we would appreciate it better if MS joins this thread and provide concreet resolution to this problem. There are so may "solutions" floating around here, that one is not sure which is recommended by MS.

    The disk drive is our life, it shouldn't be treated lightly. With all these procedures here, especially dealing with Diskpart, you can easily mess up your system if you make a mistake. MS please make Complete PC Backup/Restore "just works".

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 12:54 PM
  • I'm glad I found this thread, as I was ready to give up and reload from scratch figuring I boffed up the backup somehow.  I think the attempt to make the restore procedure idiot proof doomed this "Complete PC Restore" option to uselessness for anyone other than those that like to backup/restore to the same drive for kicks.  People who experience a genuine drive failure are SOL using the sunshine happy interface provided. 

     

    Hopefully everyone else with a failed drive will find this thread, and can use the following command line I pieced together:

     

    wbadmin start recovery -version:12/23/2007-05:59 -itemtype:volume -items:c: -backuptarget:h: -recoverytarget:c:

     

    replacing H and C with whatever your backup and restore drives are.  You can find your VERSION by browsing through your backup drive and eventually you'll find a directory named like the version you need above.  Before you run this from the recovery console, you have to setup your new drive appropriately in the DISKPART utility.

     

    Run a LIST VOLUME to see all your drives, then SELECT VOLUME to choose your new drive.  Use CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY to create the drive you want to restore your backup to and then FORMAT QUICK to format it.  ASSIGN LETTER=C will make the new partition your C drive (most likely what you backed up from) and now you can run the line above, assuming your backup is the H drive (you can use the ASSIGN LETTER=X line to make your backup drive whatever you need.  Originally my C drive was my backup drive which didn't work well for a restore).

     

    After doing this crazy workaround, I'm left wondering why a simple dropdown wasn't included to choose what drive you want to restore your backup to.  I'd be interested in why this was omitted from the user interface.

     

    I also had to run a "Repair Windows" after restoring to most likely restore the boot block to my new drive.  This worked like a charm for me, hope it helps someone else.


    for my part the correct command was : wbadmin start sysrecovery -version:04/21/2009-04:02 -backuptarget:e: -recreatedisks

    -version fill out with your good version
    -backup target be sure to put the good drive

    you will get a warning that your destination disk will be recreate to fit the backup volume criteria... so be sure nothing else than your backup disk and local disk are connected
    • Proposed as answer by Jaywolff Thursday, April 23, 2009 11:45 PM
    Tuesday, April 21, 2009 7:09 AM
  • Sorry I proposed answer tried to hit the reply.  I too got the error 0x80042401 drive to small.  I think it may be related to drive O.  I use an onboard controller where vista was installed to disk 1.  Has C and E partition this drive is 1TB SATA in ATA MODE.  The backup was on drive D.  disk O 40GB IDE ATA drive.  It seems like the backup restore defaults to target disk O which appears there is no option to change so when I run the backup it attempts to format and partition the same drive that the vhd backup is on and fails saying not enough space.  I have read others say they need Identical drive but from my point it looks like a target drive issue.  Windows in ideal set up would have the os installed on disk O partition does not matter as long as you have the same configuration as before.  I know I configured the drive I wanted to restore to to the same configuration because it is a basic 2 partition recovery and local.  I was trying to test the restore feature. 
    Friday, April 24, 2009 1:38 AM
  • I'm very grateful for the information you've shared in your post!

    I want to mention that your solution applies to Windows Server 2008 (like most Vista procedures, they're interchangeable).

    As you mention, it is necessary to format your target partition NTFS and assign drive letter=C.

    It is unconscionable that Microsoft has not documented either your solution or one of their own. I hope this gets into TechNet soon!
    Saturday, May 02, 2009 2:13 AM
  • Let me clarify that it is the following that worked on my Windows Server 2008 system (thank you AtomicInternet ) ...

    AtomicInternet Users Medals Users Medals Users Medals Users Medals Users Medals Sunday, December 23, 2007 7:17 PM


    Hopefully everyone else with a failed drive will find this thread, and can use the following command line I pieced together:

     

    wbadmin start recovery -version:12/23/2007-05:59 -itemtype:volume -items:c: -backuptarget:h: -recoverytarget:c:

     

    replacing H and C with whatever your backup and restore drives are.  You can find your VERSION by browsing through your backup drive and eventually you'll find a directory named like the version you need above.  Before you run this from the recovery console, you have to setup your new drive appropriately in the DISKPART utility.

     

    Run a LIST VOLUME to see all your drives, then SELECT VOLUME to choose your new drive.  Use CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY to create the drive you want to restore your backup to and then FORMAT QUICK to format it.  ASSIGN LETTER=C will make the new partition your C drive (most likely what you backed up from) and now you can run the line above, assuming your backup is the H drive (you can use the ASSIGN LETTER=X line to make your backup drive whatever you need.  Originally my C drive was my backup drive which didn't work well for a restore).

     

    After doing this crazy workaround, I'm left wondering why a simple dropdown wasn't included to choose what drive you want to restore your backup to.  I'd be interested in why this was omitted from the user interface.

     

    I also had to run a "Repair Windows" after restoring to most likely restore the boot block to my new drive.  This worked like a charm for me, hope it helps someone else.


    Saturday, May 02, 2009 2:21 AM
  • If you can use the imagex tool and make a .wim backup of the 60GB harddrive.  Then install the 250GB drive and apply the image to that.  This seems foolproof.  I don't think pc backup works unless the drive is identical and windows is already installed on it.  Further information I found it seems NTFS has a security ID.  If the new drive is preformatted with pe the security ID won't match the security ID of the complete pc backup image and will fail.  I think the drive ID and size nees to be exactly the same.  With imagex it does not matter.  The image can be applied to any drive as long as it has enough space for the image.   You then just pop in the Windows vista dvd and and repair the image using startup repair, reboot and your back in windows like nothing ever happened.  Of course you may have to reboot 1 more time so windows fixes the harddrive drivers and I notice after the first start the drive appears normal under computer.  Then when you reboot the drive has the normal windows drive icon and everything is good.  Its documented that imagex has to be used with sysprep if you plan on using a different security id for the drive you apply the image to but this is only necessary if you put the image on multiple computers.  If you only plan on using it on one then don't bother.  Also people say you can apply an image with any version oc pe and imagex.  I know for a fact it fails unless you use pe and imagex created with identical version of windows.  Im referring to wether it was 32 bit or 64 bit image.  Im no expert but I have tried different scenarios planning for future drive failures.  I don't think complete pc backup is worth it.  Your better off making a wim with imagex.  Using migration tool 3.01 to save user state and making frequent restore points.  I had similar problems with Norton System Restore.  I swear it would not restore to a blank harddrive but I may be crazy.  The other tools are part of AIK and available at technet for all windows versions.  They also seem to be morekk stable and reliable.  Administrators use wims to deploy images to new equipment in work enviornment.  It seems vhd files are better for virtualization than restoring a pc.  They even have a vhd boot option for windows 7.  I like the vhd because it can be mounted like a wim and you can pull files from it but if I had to choose I would prefer a wim for pc restore.  Its may also be possible to use a wim to make a custom automated restore which you can add new documents to as you do work to keep the image up to date.
    Wednesday, May 06, 2009 8:42 PM
  • I hit similar problem but manage to get the restore to works. thanks to people in this forum.

    Scenario:

    I have a schedule job running daily that performs full backup of my C: drive. The backuptarget is F: drive which is another partition on the same physical disk.

    I hit similar problem when i was trying to do windows complete PC restore to restore the C: drive. 

    The way i did it was to boot up with the Win2008 installation DVD and run repair, then it says a backup location cannot be found. I tried to copy the backup files to another PC and try to use the network share as the backup location, but that didn't work either, i got an error
     
      windows complete pc restore - the network path was not found 0x80070035"

    then i found this discussion and that kind of give me some idea.

    Finally i manage to get the restore to work.

    I have to first open command prompt (from within the recovery console), then need to find out the version (version identifier) of the backup file:

    wbadmin get versions -backuptarget:e:

    and it outputs something like this:

    The times of the backups displayed are based on the timezone of the current operating system you have booted into. The timezone used currently is (GMT -08:00) Pacific Standard Time Backup time: 6/18/2009 1:54 AM Backup target: Fixed Disk labeled Backup(F:) Version identifier: 06/18/2009-09:54 Can Recover: Volume(s), File(s), Application(s)

    Backup time: 6/19/2009 1:44 AM Backup target: Fixed Disk labeled Backup(F:) Version identifier: 06/19/2009-09:44 Can Recover: Volume(s), File(s), Application(s) Backup time: 6/20/2009 1:43 AM Backup target: Fixed Disk labeled Backup(F:) Version identifier: 06/20/2009-09:43 Can Recover: Volume(s), File(s), Application(s) Backup time: 6/22/2009 1:44 AM Backup target: Fixed Disk labeled Backup(F:) Version identifier: 06/22/2009-09:44 Can Recover: Volume(s), File(s), Application(s)

    (I noticed that the drive that store the backup files (my f: drive) was mounted as e: drive, and my c: drive was mounted as d: drive instead.)

    with that, next i need to find out what items are inside my backup, then i run this command:

    wbadmin get items -version:06/22/2009-09:44 -backupTarget:e:

    And it outputs as below:

    wbadmin 1.0 - Backup command-line tool (C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp. Volume ID = {4902d9dd-303b-11de-a473-806e6f6e6963} Volume '<Unlabeled Volume>', mounted at <not mounted> ('<Unlabeled Volume>', mou nted at C: at time of backup) Application = FRS Component = FB05C9AC-2AC7-426A-815B-B371C5E0C2EE-5936905F-95C5-423C-A8FC-A3521FB FD437 (SYSVOL\FB05C9AC-2AC7-426A-815B-B371C5E0C2EE-5936905F-95C5-423C-A8FC-A3521 FBFD437) Application = AD Component = ntds (C:_Windows_NTDS\ntds) Application = Registry Component = Registry (\Registry)

    Then, to proceed with the restore, i entered the following command:

    wbadmin start recovery -version:06/22/2009-09:44 -itemtype:volume -items:\\? \Volume{4902d9dd-303b-11de-a473-806e6f6e6963}\ -backupTarget:e: -recoverytarget: d:

    Note that the restoretarget: is d: instead of c: because my c: drive has been mounted as d: when booting up using the installation DVD.

    I'm not sure if this has been properly documented by Microsoft which they should (please point out if you know where the doc is),
    they should have made the restore process easier to manage rather than having the customer go through all this.

    Hope this help.

    Regards,



    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 8:43 AM
  • Awesome. That worked great! I was just about to give up and reinstall everything from scratch.
    Monday, November 09, 2009 9:10 PM
  • I have to agree with Jaywolff here that of all backup and restore solution out there, ImageX is the best and most reliable. However, ImageX is not made for everyone as you have to be technically savvy to use is successfully. For one, it doesn't create a backup of your disk configuration. For example if you have more than 1 disk, you cannot automatically recreate your configuration during restore. You have to specifically give up on which disk ImageX should restore. You have to go through a lot of trial and error before you can ge ImageX to work for you.

    One has to wonder though, how does the Windows Home Server group succeed in ALWAYS and PERFECTLY backup and restore connected pc's? If this group have this knowledge in house, and believe me they do, why don't they share their knowledge with the rest and make backup and restore painless for everyone. Given the success of the Home Server, one has to conclude that this group in Microsoft know whay they are doing.
    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 3:12 AM
  • Summary of what worked for me: 1 Setup drives 1.1: in windows pe cmd open DISKPART 1.2 LIST VOLUMES 1.3 find out which volume has the backup and which is for the backup to be installed on. 1.4 assign the volume you are backing up onto letter C, make sure it is quick formatted in ntfs and big enough, and active ( I think) 1.5 note the letter of the backup volume, I changed it, cos it was origionally C 2 backup 2.1: find version identifier of the backup, as follows:  wbadmin get versions -backuptarget:e: Where :e: is the backup volume 2.2 replace the version identifier below (12/23/2007-05:59) with the one found, note the version ID isn't actually the local date. Awbadmin start recovery -version:12/23/2007-05:59 -itemtype:volume -items:c: -backuptarget:e: -recoverytarget:c: -items:c: is assuming that the c drive is what is backed up Yaaaaaay
    Wednesday, June 09, 2010 6:42 AM
  • Now after doing all that you should be able to understand why its more pratical to user imagex.  Imagex is a similar process.  With one important benefit.  You can recover a complete PC to another harddrive of any size.  Lets say your harddrive is full or for those of you using Windows Home Server no the partitions are made a certain size.  You can use imagex to move a harddrive image to a new disk.  I don't like the complete PC restore because its supposed to be one click and it isn't.  When you mention Diskpart you have already lost 90% of Windows users.  How does it work when PE always swews the drive letter assignments.  The C drive on some PCs will never be the C drive when booting from PE or the Windows CD.  You have to understand that windows defaults to C unless otherwise specified.  Fix this issue and I might use Complete PC.  I like how its nice because the VHD are portable and can be mounted as filesystems easily thats a plus.  But so too can a WIM be just as easily mounted.  I know it works.  Its just a lot faster to use imagex.  You will have similar problems if you use Windows Home Server since it uses the same technology.  Another reason I use imagex is because my PC was originally had Vista HOME Premium.  I didn't even know that Complete PC restore could restore the same disk that the backup was stored on.  I thought it automatically formatted and repartitioned the whole drive which to me would wipeout the backup.  It even states don't backup to the same volume.   
    Wednesday, June 09, 2010 9:02 PM
  • I realize that this question/post is very old, but I am responding to it as i found the solution to the problem, (or so I think as it works for me!)

    OK, this is what I found to be true as it works for me!

    Windows Backup, more so restore, will work under the following conditions

    1)      Of course have a valid backup.  Mine was on an external HD connected via a USB port.

    2)      This is the really important part!  Make sure that the new replacement hard drive:

    a.       Is the same type of hard drive, (i.e. SATA, PATA, SCSI…).

    b.      *** Is at least the same size, (or greater than that), of the PHYSICAL size of the OLD hard drive.  This is the key part:  In this case the actual partition size that you may be restoring does not matter.  Windows compares the physical size of the OLD drive to that of the NEW drive size stated in the BIOS. If the new drive is physically smaller, the restore will not work!

    c.       *** Be sure that there are no existing partitions on the replacement HD.  If so remove them using DISKPART or the Linux GPARTED utility for example.

    d.      Attach the new HD to the machine being serviced

    3)      Boot  from the original Windows CD

    a.       Yes, boot the CD first. 

    b.      At the “Install Windows” window attach / plug in your external USB hard drive that contains the backup image. 

    c.       Wait a few seconds and give the drive time to load.

    d.      Click “Repair your computer”.

    e.      Because your NEW HD is blank, the “Systems Recovery Options” window will be blank as well.  This is fine, just click NEXT.

    f.        Click “Windows Complete PC Restore”

    g.       Choose your backup, browse the attached USB hard drive if you must.

    h.      Check /accept the overwrite warning box and restore your image.

    Good Luck!

    • Proposed as answer by GregMaschak Tuesday, July 12, 2011 4:26 PM
    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 4:07 PM
  • If I understand the problem correctly. . .

    Still exists on Windows 7 as well.  What you can do (what I did):

    Create a larger reserved partition (say, 1 Gig).  There are sites that tell you how to do this.  Do this BEFORE installing Windows fresh

    Install OS only, plus updates

    Create Restore disk through the Backup and Restore

    Install applications

    Create Restore disk again

    Whenever you create a restore disk, restore latest from disk, install all updates.  IMPORTANT:  run defrag on C drive.  This "cleans" the reserved partition.

     

    Why does this work?  Who knows.  Some hack programmer inside of Microsoft probably knows but won't tell you.  That's why I use mostly Apple products now.

    Wednesday, September 07, 2011 3:58 AM
  • Here is what just worked for me... all using parts of this thread...

    Choose Command Prompt in the Windows Recovery Environment menu

    2. Run diskpart, the disk utility. The goal is to create disk partitions/volumes structure that resemble the backup image.

    While I was inside DiskPart environment, I used the following commands:

    a) list disk to see the list of hard drives recognized by Windows

    b) The drive I wanted to recover was identified as Drive 0 (zero) so I used the command select disk=0 to make the drive active.

    c) Then I used the command create partition primary size=40960 to create a 40GB partition on that drive.

    d) I used list partition to see the list of partitions on that drive

    e) The partition I just created was identified as Partition 0 (zero) so I used the command select partition=0 to make the partition active.

    f) I used the command format fs=ntfs label="System Drive" quick to format the partition, then I used list volume to see the list of volumes recognized by the system.

    g) The volume I just created was identified as Volume 1 so I used the command select volume=1 to make the volume active. Then I used the command assign letter=C to assign the C drive letter, which corresponds to the one in the backup image.

    Type exit

    Then

    wbadmin get versions -backuptarget:e: Where "e" is the drive the backup is on

    Then

    wbadmin start recovery -version:12/31/2012-15:59 -itemtype:volume -items:c: -backuptarget:e: -recoverytarget:c:

    Where "12/31/2012-15:59 " is the backup location listed in the get versions

    answer yes if you want to proceed and YAY! it finally worked for me!

    Saturday, September 22, 2012 1:58 AM